Most people don’t even give lake trout a try or even consider something to fish for. In particular, people usually have trouble fishing for lake trout and the traditional methods that go along with it. First though, you probably should spend some time learning about Lake Trout themselves before jumping in and trying to fish for them right off the bat. We’ve provided you with some lake trout fishing tips for seasons, methods and general tips for you to improve your fishing game!
About Lake Trout Themselves (salvelinus namaycush)
Lake trout is a species of trout that you will only find in North America but has been introduced to other parts of the world that include: Europe, Asia and South America. They only will live in freshwater and have become a popular game fish in North America. In essence, the Northern parts of North America.
Diet of lake trout varies based on their weight, length and general age but usually will include snails, leeches, crustaceans, insect larva and sometimes even other small fish. Due to being a popular game fish though, the populations itself have been on a downward fall and have to be supported with breeding & stocking programs.
Usually lake trout will tend to live in large lakes that are very cold and deep. They will spawn in the fall but sometimes is different from the location and weather patterns that they are living in. Lake trout are obviously different than any other trout due to their color variation in which has a light yellow and white spots along their green body. They also have a white belly and orange fins that make them stand out.
Lake Trout Fishing Tips
Sadly, Lake Trout Fishing isn’t as simple as 123. Every season will have its own way of fishing along with techniques itself. Thankfully, with the simple lake trout fishing tips below, you won’t have any problems catching some lake trout and have a blast reeling in some big heavy fish from the deep depths of your lake.
Lake Trout Fishing Tips For Spring
In the spring during ice-out (when the ice starts to melt) to a couple weeks after, you will find lake trout to be under the surface of the ice and provides one of the best times to go lake trout fishing. Sometimes you will end up catching the most lake trout during this time too and at others, it may be darn near impossible. One of the major disadvantages of lake trout fishing in spring is that the are all fairly spread out and not concentrated in one place on the lake.
If you do end up fishing though in the spring, you will want to find areas that the lake will warm up the fastest. Your best bet is to find a sandbar or shallow sandy areas such as shores as it’ll warm up fastest there and provide small minnows for lake trout to eat. Lake Trout themselves though don’t enjoy the warmer waters though but they will wait on the deeper edges for minnows to wonder by. You may have luck on the shores too though as lake trout sometimes will venture near the shore in search of food.
Trolling in the Spring does work but you may end up finding it to be not that effective as they’re sensitive to any motor or noise in general. If you really do want to troll, your best bet is to cast sideways or at a 40-50 degree angle from the back of your boat. Simply cast out, slowly reel in and repeat. Even with a electric motor, we’ve found Lake Trout to be sensitive.
Summer Lake Trout Fishing Tips
In the late spring to the early summer, finding where lake trout are at may be a bit of a trouble. This is essentially a transition stage where they are found at a variety of depths before they move to the deeper parts of the lake for the hot summer. Finding where they are lurking will really come down to the size of the lake that you are fishing in.
If you are fishing in a smaller lake, you may have some luck checking out deep spots as the lake will warm up much faster than the bigger lakes. If you are fishing in bigger lakes, you may have a little more trouble. You will want to check the temperature of the water and try to fish roughly at the 50 degree thermocline (basically the level in which the temperature is roughly 50 degrees). If you end up fishing any lower, the lake trout won’t be biting too much due to the low oxygen levels in which makes them go into a semi dormant state. Depending on your lake, try to fish between 40 and 60 feet deep.
Lake Trout Summer Fishing Methods
Lake Trout summer fishing requires different styles of fishing that many are not used to. Most these methods though will catch catch fish but they are just very boring, dull and simply put not very effective.
Depending on your boat size, the prime way of fishing for Lake Trout is to use the back troll method as slow as possible using a three-way swivel. Attached some 6 pound test line to your fishing rod and you should be ready to go. 6 pound test line is ideal due to its thin composition thus creating little friction with the water. If you are planning on fishing at more than 50 feet deep or even at 50 feet deep, you’ll want to use 2 ounce weight and a flutter spoon. The two spoons that we would recommend are the Sutton Silver Spoon or the MooseLook spoon.
We know there are hundreds of light flutter spoons on the market but those two stood out to us because of their composition. So far we found that darker colors along with shiny colors such as dark blue and silver are ideal on sunny days. If you end up fishing on a day that seems a little cloudy you may want to use a copper colored spoon. Along with that, you may not be able to catch any Trout if a low-pressure system is coming in.
3 Way Swivel Technique
The three-way swivel technique is fairly simple. First you’ll want to type 2 feet of your line from one of your three-way swivels to a regular clip swivel. Following that, you’ll then attach your lure. On your last swivel, use roughly 3 feet of line and attach it to your 2 ounce weight.
You’ll want to give slow trolling a try by simply letting line out 1 foot at a time. You should be traveling slow enough that your line will almost fall straight down to the bottom. Letting your line out should have a one-to-one ratio. For example, if you let out that 40 feet of line, you should be 40 feet down.
One of the best tools though for trolling is to get a depth finder. Depth finders allow you to find what depths fish are lurking at. From our experience, we found Lake Trout to be at 50 feet to even as shallow as 25 feet in the summer.
Sometimes in small springfed lakes or even shallow lakes in general, you may ignore the depth rule altogether.
Line selection is also very important too. From our experience we found that dark green line produces the lowest of visibility. Following that, continue trolling until you start getting bites.
Jigging For Lake Trout
If you find the lake trout to be fairly concentrated, you may want to try a jigging technique. Thankfully jigging for trout is fairly straight forward and all you will need is simply 6 pound mono filament and half ounce jig. From our experience we found that white tube jigs and even buck tail jigs to be effective when Lake Trout fishing. Followed by adding a minnow, you are surely catching a lake trout in no time.
If you are fond of spoons, you also can jig them. For both cases though, you want start jigging on the very bottom in slowly and gradually work your way to the very top. Trout are known to fall your bait and often the only bite when it slowly moving through the water. You’ll need to be alert for any strikes, as trout are known to strike at some most unusual times.
This simple technique will leave many inexperienced anglers missing the catch. If you are finding that you’re missing strikes, you may want to change to more sensitive lines such as 10 to 12 pound test. Combining the drifting technique or using the motor at a slow pace will effectively lead to locating Lake Trout and no time.
Best Lake Trout Fishing Times
Your best bet when Lake Trout fishing is to try early in the morning and the evening. During the day you will find that the trout can be very picky and sometimes they won’t ever be feeding. You’ll want to be out on the lake though and continue trying as you don’t know when the ever will start feeding again.
Lake Trout can be a challenge on the larger lakes so your best bet is to try a variety of methods. In smaller lakes, Lake Trout will be very susceptible to changing pressures along with the weather. Finding the ideal methods takes time and effort but eventually lead you to becoming a better angler.
General Lake Trout Fishing Tips
This is probably what you been searching for, and you finally made it. Here are a few of our lake trout fishing tips that will get you started and catching bigger and better lake trout on your next fishing trip.
- Depth Matters
- Lure Selection Helps
- Once you Find One, You’ll Find More
- Live Bait Works
- Buy a Fishfinder
When you are fishing for Lake Trout, depth actually matters. You need to find the area where the lake trout are usually lurking. One of the biggest issues though with finding these areas is that it varies from season to season. As the water stuck in warmer you’ll need to search deeper and as it gets colder, you’ll need to start searching in shallower waters.
For example, once the ice is out, you’ll be fishing at a surface of roughly 10 feet while in mid spring you should be fishing at a depth of roughly 20 to 30 feet and finally in late spring, you can be even fishing at depths of 30 to even 45 feet. The summer is most hardest time of the year to go lake trout fishing as the lake waters tend to change often thus the fish are constantly moving as they try to find the ideal layer.
As always you’ll want to consider the lures are using when lake trout fishing. These lures though will be affected by a variety of factors. For example, the size, lake trout population, season, air pressure, depth and food supply are very important factors when considering what fishing lure you should use. Our best advice is to talk to the local bait shop and fisherman to get idea what is currently working on the lake.
Once you start catching fish, odds are that you will find more. Even though these are not schooling fish, they tend to enjoy the same general surroundings.
From our experience we found live bait for Lake Trout fishing to be the ideal bait. Along with that, we’ve only used the time-tested nightcrawler. If you are wanting to try different baits, decent size minnows and even salmon eggs will also work too.
One of our biggest secrets though is simply a fishfinder. This is expensive piece of equipment but it will greatly increase your chances of finding fish along with reeling in the biggest lake trout. This simple device will allow you to find where all the schools of baitfish are currently lurking along with any of trout that you you missing out on. This device is one useful tool that should be on any fishermen’s boat
There you have it! Those are all of our lake trout fishing tips that hopefully will end up catching some fish for you. As always, don’t spend too much time reading and try to put more action into trying different lake trout fishing techniques! Fish on!